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Akron council members disagree about executive session during caucus; session remained open

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: July 16, 2014

A disagreement about whether Akron City Council should go into executive session in the middle of a rare caucus Tuesday resulted in an even more infrequent occurrence -- a tie vote.

Council members had been talking about an ongoing lawsuit on fire department promotions when Councilman Jeff Fusco suddenly suggested that the discussion should be moved into executive session. A Beacon Journal reporter in the audience asked on what grounds when the discussion had been happening in open session.

Council members then voted on whether to go into executive session with Clerk Bob Keith initially miscounting the votes and saying the majority voted for it. As some council members started to leave the room, the reporter again objected, questioning the vote count. Bob Keith retallied and realized the vote was 6-6-1, which wasn't a majority. The discussion continued in open session, allowing the media and the public who attended to hear what was said.

The council members who voted for the executive session were: Fusco, Donnie Kammer, Garry Moneypenny , Russel Neal, Jr., Rich Swirsky and Mike Williams. Those voting against were: Mike Freeman, Bob Hoch, Jim Hurley, Marilyn Keith, Tara Mosley-Samples and Linda Omobien. Councilwoman Margo Sommerville, who entered the chambers in the middle of the disagreement about whether an executive session was warranted, abstained.  

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